(File pix) Kazakhstan’s Astana expo 2017 commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, Malaysia Pavilion commissioner Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang and Sustainable Energy Development Authority chairman Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai launching the Malaysian Pavilion at the Astana Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

MALAYSIA is keen to strengthen economic ties with Kazakhstan and aspires to be a role model to the Central Asian country in the development of its green energy sector.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry adviser Datuk Loo Took Gee said Malaysia would like to share its experience with Kazakhstan in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

She said the ministry had conducted discussions with Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Energy Bakhytzhan Dzhaksaliyer on energy efficiency and had received a positive response.

“Energy efficiency has a broad scope. I’ve talked to the vice-minister and he is also of the opinion that Kazakhstan should be looking at energy efficiency to save energy. It’s an area where we would like to discuss with the Kazakhs and explore opportunities here.”

“We hope that Malaysia will be given an opportunity to invest in Kazakhstan. That is why we are seriously pursuing meetings with the Energy Ministry as well as the Kazakhstan Electricity Association, to show that we are serious,” Loo told NST Business in an interview, here, recently.

Loo is also deputy commissioner (Malaysia) for Astana Expo 2017 and is former Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general.

Loo said Malaysia’s participation in the Astana Expo 2017 would serve as a platform for the country to showcase its developments in the green energy sector to Kazakhstan and other participating countries.

Some of the developments that would be showcased include the production of solar power and light-emitting diodes (LED) as well as the conversion of gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“Our green initiatives, covering biomass, hydro and biogas, will also be showcased at the expo,” said Loo, adding that there would be business-matching sessions and seminars as well.

A total of 100 private and public Malaysian companies are participating in the Astana Expo 2017, which is held from June 10 to September 10.

The Malaysian pavilion, which carries the theme “Powering Green Growth”, covers 727 sqm and is divided into two floors.

The ground floor houses the main exhibits, which showcase development in Malaysia’s energy sector, as well as a National Transformation Programme segment to present Malaysia’s transformation from an agricultural economy into an industrialised economy.

The ground floor also houses energy-related companies as well as the largest power company in Southeast Asia and Malaysia’s electric utility company, Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will also showcase its expertise in the gas industry, particularly in the floating LNG segment.

“The pavilion is located next to the India and China pavilions. We are located together with two giants and we want to make a strong impression and draw the crowd,” said Loo.

She said visitors to the Malaysian pavilion would be greeted by a big Malaysian flag, and as they enter the pavilion, visitors would experience walking through a virtual rainforest,
complete with a waterfall and mangroves.

The second floor of the pavilion houses an administrative section, seminar and business-matching rooms as well as a Malaysia cafe, which will serve Malaysian cuisine to participants and visitors of expo.

Loo said Malaysia’s participation in Astana Expo began when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received a letter of invitation from Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2015.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry was directed to spearhead Malaysia’s participation in the Astana Expo 2017, she said.

“We received approval from cabinet to officially implement this project, and we assigned the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech) to be the implementing arm,” said Loo.

The theme of the Astana Expo is “Future Energy”, which covers three broad areas, including the sufficiency of energy, energy efficiency as well as addressing global warming and climate change.

More than 100 countries have pledged their participation in the expo, with some three million visitors targeted to visit the international event.

Loo said the theme was very much in line with global concerns about climate change and environmental issues.

“I must salute the government of Kazakhstan for having the foresight to gather countries to come together and discuss and find solutions on future energy,” she said, adding that Malaysia would also like to showcase its multicultural diversity to the world during the event.

On May 23, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said Malaysia targeted to secure RM1 billion in trade and investments from the Astana Expo.

Malaysia and Kazakhstan enjoy a growing economic partnership, especially over the last decade.

Last year, Malaysia’s total trade with Kazakhstan rose 36.1 per cent to RM203.58 million compared with 2015. Exports rose by 30.4 per cent to RM180.81 million, while imports increased to RM22.77 million.

In the first two months of the year, Malaysia’s total trade with Kazakhstan amounted to RM48.07 million.

Exports were valued at RM43.57 million, while imports were at RM4.49 million.